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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in Spike's LiveJournal:

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
7:57 am
Obama, Human Rights, and China
Okay, I "intellectually" understand the reason Clinton did not push the human rights issue while in China, but is this bothering anyone? Yes, we might need China's help with the global economy, climate change, and stabilizing energy prices when the economy rebounds, but I always though sacrificing human rights for other issues was a Republican thing to do...

Thursday, July 31st, 2008
10:17 pm
CEO pay... part 1
(cross posted on my new journal: http://spike-lewis.livejournal.com/)

I thought I would be able to do more writing lately, but I haven't really gotten around to it. The following is the first part of a concept I've been mulling around for a while. We'll see what comes of it. I haven't really written anything for ages, so please pardon the rust... ;)

I like to tell my boss the only way I'll miss work is if I have a limb dangling from my body. Why? To begin with, I am a herder (I walk dogs), which is a pre-industrial revolution job. One just didn't have the luxury of taking time off back then. You had to go out and work whether it was raining, snowing, over 100 degrees, etc. I've gotten some really funny looks while picking my dogs up during the few days we've had heavy rain. I've also suffered through painful lectures from other clients when the mercury was in the 100s. It just comes with the job.

The other reason I have the dangling limb policy when it comes to sick days is I just can't afford to take the time off. I'm an independent contractor, and a day (or five) off is a day (or five) without pay. It seems like I'm not alone. NPR, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently came out with a poll on work habits (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92762761&ft=1&f=1095). One of the things they found there were two reasons people work while they are sick: pressure from the company to be there whether you are sick or not, and there just isn't any paid sick leave.

The article goes on to say San Francisco and Washington DC are now requiring some employers to offer sick leave, and there is talk of legislation on a national level. Then NPR brings in someone from the California Chamber of Commerce. Marc Burgat is the organization's vice president of government relations, and, surprise, he is against mandated paid sick leave. His rationale? Businesses can't afford it. I guess Mr. Burgat missed the news item about the CEO of Freddie Mac.

Richard Syron, Freddie Mac's chairman and CEO, pocketed a cool $19.8 million (http://ori.msnbc.msn.com/id/25740405/) last year. Yeah, this is the same Freddie Mac that is getting a bailout from the federal government (yup, us taxpayers). Now, I haven't researched this at all, but I keep hearing about workers loosing their benefits, or getting fewer benefits, while the folks at the top of these companies are bringing home an astronomical amount of bacon. Don't get me wrong -- I don't begrudge someone earning an honest dollar, but what did Mr. Syron do to earn that 19.8 million? What did he do with it? I can't even imagine what I'd do with that amount of money, but I think it would pay for a lot of benefits (and wages, but that's a story for another day) for Freddie Mac's workers. I also can't imagine Mr. Syron donating any of that money to help folks without health insurance.

So, sports fans, this is the bottom line: What is the relation between CEO pay and the loss of benefits for the American worker? Also, if there is a direct correlation between the two, where is the outrage from those American who've gotten the proverbial short end of the stick?

Stay tuned...
Sunday, July 6th, 2008
7:30 pm
All bad things should end...

I think it is way past time to end this journal. I hope to start a new one soon.

I will be mirroring everything I subsequently blog on both journals until I finally kill this one.

I hope anyone reading this had a great holiday!

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
10:19 pm
hair again

I went through some drastic changes four years ago this past summer: I quit smoking, took my last drink of alcohol, and cut my hair after wearing it long for 16 years. While giving up drinking and smoking were both done for health reasons, I cut my hair for a job that didn't pan out. I have always regretted cutting it, and finally decided to do something about it.

I'm not sure when I got my last cut, but my hair is getting long. I can't pull it back into a ponytail yet, but it is getting close. Yeah, I have a "high forehead," etc., so I think I'm going to have to get me some hats. Baseball caps really work at the moment, so I'm going to have to find something else.

No, drinking and smoking cigarettes aren't planned for the future. I'm glad those bad habits are finally behind me, though.

Current Mood: working
Saturday, August 25th, 2007
8:33 pm
"Is it 2008 yet?"

dear folks in lj land,

i've been seeing this bumper sticker in my travels lately that says, "Is it 2008 yet?" okay, i've been seeing it for awhile now, but i've finally gotten around to asking about it. so, what's it mean?

will the "big one" happen in 2008 so san francisco will become a suburb of los angeles?

will poverty and disease finally be wiped out?

will the rapture occur or christ make his appearance on earth (depending on your religion?)

etc., etc., etc.

thanx a lot for your help,

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
9:06 am
So you think I'm crazy?
I've been extremely busy working lately. I walk dogs six days a weeks, and most of that time is spent hiking up and down the canyons and hills of West Los Angeles. It certainly leaves me physically drained by the end of the day and week.

Because of holiday festivities in Pacific Palisades, there are road closures and traffic jams on the alternative routes throughout the day. I decided to give myownself the day off to avoid the nonsense.

So, what am I spending my day doing? Sleeping in? Resting? No, I got up at the usual time, and I'm going on a mammoth hike soon.

Where did I leave my brain?
Saturday, February 24th, 2007
6:31 pm
5:36 pm
finding my ashe

I've been in a bit of a rut lately. I guess you can call it a major case of "headupthebuttitis," and it really didn't hit home until today.

One of my clients call me with a last minute dog walk for today. I had other tasks to attend to, but took it since I really like both her and her dog. She then called me while I was with her dog and asked me to do a rather simple favor for her. All I could do was come up with a multitude of whiny excuses why I couldn't do what she asked me to do. She said it was alright, but she was obviously disappointed.

My actions didn't dawn on my until after I had hung up the phone. I felt twice my age, and completely over the hill. I have always thought of myownself as being overly endowed with Ashe, a Yoruba religious concept that means "the power to make things happen," but here I was spitting out any excuse so I wouldn't have to do something well within my grasp.

As I walked and played with her dog, I devised a way to complete the task she asked me to do. I then completed it. Yes, I still am endowed with Ashe, but it appears I have to sometimes look deep within myownself to find it. It also looks like there is hope for me to get out of that above-mentioned rut. It's long past time I did.
4:51 pm
manual labor

manual labor might be good for the soul, and great for the body, but it leaves little time for other things...

Current Mood: drained
Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
4:30 pm
car talk

I was going to the Pacific Palisades branch of my bank yesterday when this 86-year-old lady approached me and asked me about my car. (I have a support the earth ribbon magnet I got from Kent Bullard and a Green Depot, my former employer, bumper sticker on the back of my car.) She wanted to know if I was using a "special" fuel. I told her I just use a renewable fuel that can be purchased at the Palisades Gas and Wash. She then asked if she or anyone can use it? I told her one needs to have a diesel in order to use biodiesel. It was great to hear her say what a shame it was for California not to allow the sale of new diesel vehicles when biodiesel is so much better for the environment.

We went on to talk about how great it was to see so many hybrids in the Palisades -- especially since there are so many SUVs the size of living rooms in this part of LA. It was a really cool encounter. It was almost as cool as when a local hero of the electric/hybrid/plug-in car crowd complimented my car last week. (She and her husband use biodiesel in their truck.)

Actually, it was just as cool, but in a completely different way. ;)
Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
6:13 pm
happy independence day...


shamelessly stolen from biodieselnow.com.
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